Taco soup

When I was a kid, we frequently had Campbell’s tomato or chicken noodle soup for family lunches, usually alongside a sandwich. But we never made soup from scratch, and soup was always sort of a side dish for a grilled cheese or ham sandwich.

Then I met the hubby, and my love affair with soup, began, as well.

The hubby’s family ate a lot of soup when they were growing up. A LOT. In fact, his youngest sister’s nickname is Soup, the full story of which I’ve never actually heard. Of course, both my sisters-in-law have called me Bear instead of Alyssa for 20 years, and they probably don’t recall the genesis of that one, either.

(So yes, come holiday season, we have to explain to my kiddo and my nephews – who pass out the gifts – why there are packages with labels like “To Bear, From Soup & Mattypants.” It’s fun.)

The hubby’s family ate their fair share of Campbell’s soup but they made several homemade varieties, as well, which I found to be a foreign concept when the hubby and I first got married.

A few decades later, I have dozens of soup recipes in my arsenal and we make and eat a lot of soup – year round, but especially in winter. The hubby and I tend to prefer different types of soup, and the kiddo would eat knoephla every day of his life if we’d let him, so it’s not unusual for us to have two and sometimes three pots of soup simmering simultaneously on the weekends.

Taco soup is one of my favorites, and I have a dozen or so different varieties that I make depending on which ingredients I have on hand. This version is a cross between a taco soup and a chili, and is hearty enough to stand on its own as a meal – especially when topped with cheese and chips. It’s a souper way to start off any week.

Note: This soup freezes well. My preferred method is to put single portions in small freezer bags, which I lay flat on a sheet tray and freeze. I store the smaller bags in a large freezer bag, so I can easily thaw and reheat individual servings as needed.   

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